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Chemical Additives

The term "chemical additive" means a chemical product (including products of disassociation and degradation, collectively "products") introduced into a waste stream that is used for cleaning, disinfecting, or maintenance and which may be detected in effluent discharged to waters of the Commonwealth. The term generally excludes chemicals used for neutralization of waste streams, the production of goods, and treatment of wastewater. In November 2012, DEP developed a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for chemical additives. If facilities are known to use chemical additives, then their industrial waste NPDES permits will include language that implements the following process:

NOTE: Permittees should always refer to their existing permit for the appropriate chemical additives requirements.

For those interested in the methods used by DEP to determine aquatic life and human health effect levels for the Approved List, please refer to the DEP Chemical Additives Aquatic Life Calculation Spreadsheet (Excel) and the DEP Chemical Additives Human Health Calculation Spreadsheet (Excel), respectively.

DEP has developed an online course and a Frequent Asked Questions (FAQ) document to provide additional information on the implementation process for chemical additives.

Permittees with questions on chemical additives should contact the DEP regional office that issued the permit or the Bureau of Clean Water at 717-787-5017 or